Having the right environment when working from home is important for a variety of reasons. As well as health and safety, efficiency and productivity, ensuring you create an inviting workspace is also vital for your wellbeing.
Your dedicated workstation could be anywhere in the home. You might be fortunate to have a purpose-built garage office or maybe it’s just a corner of your living room. But regardless of its location, these tips will help you create a safe and practical area to work from.
Depending on the nature of your work, you’re probably going to need a decent computer or laptop. Many employers will supply these, along with any required monitors and keyboards.
However, if you’re self-employed you’ll most likely have to source your own. According to the ONS, 32% of self-employed workers work from home compared to just 14% of employees. So, it’s a good idea to set aside some budget to ensure you have a working computer which provides good performance.
Losing connection while on an important virtual meeting can be frustrating, not to mention embarrassing. So, a great WiFi connection is crucial. If yours is slow or intermittent, try moving or replacing your router to see if the location affects the performance.
If you still need some help diagnosing the issue, it’s worth contacting your provider.
Cables and cable management
You’ll need to power your equipment so it’s wise to consider cable management. Using extension cables such as these will allow you to reach a greater distance from your power source, meaning you’ll have more flexibility over your work location.
It’s important to refrain from overloading extension cables and make sure to keep them tidy to avoid any accidents such as trips or falls.
Ergonomics is the process of correctly designing a workspace for the user’s needs, creating an efficient and safe environment. It involves assessing your individual requirements to make sure your workstation is set up properly for you.
You’ll need to consider your desk, chair, computer, mouse and monitors to make sure every piece of equipment is at the right height and angle for optimum comfort. Your employer should be able to provide guidelines for this but, if you’re unsure, the HSE offers guidance on using a workstation and a laptop.
Finally, once your workstation has been set up correctly, don’t forget to take regular breaks. It can be easy to work though lunch or stay at your computer into the evening but it’s important to take some time away from your desk.
Go for a walk to the local park during your lunch, have a cup of tea in the garden or enjoy a run after work. Getting outside will help you re-focus and ensure you get some much-needed fresh air.